episode #366

Strength Training, Confidence & Taking Up Space with Alyssa Ages


Alyssa Ages and Dr. Stephanie join forces to unravel the complex narratives surrounding strength training, challenging societal norms that equate health with thinness and worthiness with smallness. They explore the transformative power of strength training beyond physical appearance, touching upon its role in cultivating grit, reshaping our relationship with failure, and fostering courage and confidence.

“Of course, if a woman is taking up space, it’s considered inconvenient, right?” – Alyssa Ages

With refreshing candor, Alyssa confronts stereotypes and redefines notions of “bulky,” advocating for a paradigm shift towards embracing strength and taking up space. This episode invites listeners to reconsider what it means to be powerful, vital, and worthy after 40, igniting a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

Episode Overview:

0:00 Intro/Teaser
0:48 Personal Evolution and Resilience
4:02 Trusting Your Body Through Trauma
8:52 Embracing Strength and Self-Reflection
12:54 Holding Multiple Truths
15:49 Lifting Through Trauma: A Lifeline
20:16 Mastery and Mental Health Benefits
26:16 Lessons in Handling Failure
27:54 Embracing Failure
39:54 Overcoming Fear of Failure
49:02 Strength for the Future
51:08 Redefining Body Image
55:51 Strength and Courage
57:07 Lessons from the Fringe

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Alyssa’s Book
Pumping Iron 2: the Women


Alyssa Ages is the author of Secrets of Giants: A Journey to Uncover the True Meaning of Strength. She is a journalist whose work has appeared in GQ, ELLE, SELF, The Globe and Mail, Wired, Parents, and others. Find out more at alyssaages.com

We are grateful to our sponsors:


The EightSleep Pod4 Ultra is proven to give you up to one more hour of sleep every night, reduce your snoring effortlessly by up to 32%, and give you 34% more deep sleep. So head over to eightsleep.com/better and use code BETTER to get $350 off the Pod4 Ultra.


If you want to get all your magnesium in one supplement, you will love Magnesium Breakthrough. Each supplement itself is 500 milligrams of magnesium, which I feel is such a great dosage as a baseline for most women. So head on over to bioptimizers.com/better and use code BETTER for 10% off of any order, but make sure that the Magnesium Breakthrough is in your cart.


You can use this grass-fed collagen daily, to take care of your hair, skin, nails, joints, and gut after resistance training workouts, or you can even bake with it because it tastes like dessert, not beef. Go to equipfoods.com/better and use the code BETTER for 20% off.

I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!